Join us to discuss the lessons learned and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work of the UN and civil society organizations. Speakers from the UN, civil society organizations, academia and youth will highlight the innovative methods that were developed to continue outreach and engagement with stakeholder partners.
Date: 17 December 2020
Time: 9:30 - 11 a.m. EST
Session 1: Civil Society Advocacy and Engagement in this time of COVID-19
Session 2: Civil Society Youth Working in Partnership to Meet the Challenges of the Pandemic
Session 3: 2021: Looking Ahead and Ready for Change
Questions and Answers Session
Kathryn Good serves as head of the Non-governmental Liaison Service and facilitates civil society participation in high-level UN conferences and events, ensuring a transparent and inclusive process for engagement. Prior to this role, she served as Chief of Unit for Group Programmes and Public Inquiries, in the Department of Global Communications, overseeing the UN Speakers Bureau, the Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalists Fellowship Programme, and visit.un.org and worked as the head of the English Language and Communications Programme in the Office of Human Resource Management. Prior to joining the UN, Kathryn Good was Director of International Programs at Brown University for ten years. She holds Master’s Degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Boston University and earned her B.A. from the University of Richmond.
A native of Sri Lanka, Nipuna Ambanpola is the Founder & Executive Director of IVolunteer International, a 501(c)3 tech-nonprofit organization in the United States. As Executive Director, Nipuna joins a variety of global coalitions and agencies to advocate for and increase volunteer awareness, volunteer mobility, and impact. Nipuna is a TEDx speaker, a program advisor at Humanitarian Affairs Asia, and a Rotaractor. Nipuna is also a member of the United Nations Department for Global Communications Youth Steering Committee.
Michelle is currently a Political Science major at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and works as an intern for the World Development Foundation. As being apart of the foundation she also plays a role in the subcommittee for the NGO Reporter. Michelle first became apart of the UN at 15 years old, when she spoke at the 2016 Youth Assembly as an Ecuadorian youth advocate for the work she had been doing during the 2016 Ecuadorian earthquake. She then went on to win two international pageant titles where she dedicated her platform to peace-building by promoting Goal #16 of the Sustainable development goals. In the past years, she worked with Foundation Eye Sight for Everyone to donate thousand of wheelchairs and eye sight surgeries to those in dire need of help in Ecuador. She has a passion for equality, human rights, and maintaining peace. With many years of experience in public speaking, she hopes to graduate this upcoming year and further her career in International Relations.
Manav Subodh is a social entrepreneur and Global Ambassador, SCET, University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley). A series of events, including his experiences in Cairo during the Arab spring inspired Manav to leave his corporate job in 2015 and start 1M1B (1 Million for 1 Billion). His areas of focus include sustainable villages, youth leadership and AI for good.
Prior to starting his entrepreneurial journey, Manav worked in the corporate sector for over 17 years with organisations like Intel, Hughes and QAI. He served as the global entrepreneurship and innovation director at Intel Corporation where he managed a US$ 10 million funding program. Manav has also served as a member of the National Advisory on Innovation, Incubation and Technology Entrepreneurship of the Government of India for over 5 years and was a Senior Advisor to Ernst & Young (EY) for the State Government of Chhattisgarh’s Policy formation for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Manav is passionate about empowering youth to activate their ideas and get them to reality using entrepreneurial and systems thinking. In this regard, he has conducted youth leadership workshops in over 7 countries and he now host’s an annual 1M1B youth summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York and AI youth leadership summit at UC Berkeley campus. Under his leadership, in October 2020, 1M1B was recognized as a Great Place to Work (one of the few non profits to get this status).
For his work with youth and rural communities Manav has been featured in Forbes, BBC, Yahoo, NDTV, Entrepreneur, Apolitical, TEDx and others.
Fannie M. Munlin is the Chair of the Global NGO Executive Committee, which serves as the liaison for the Non-governmental Organizations affiliated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications. She is also the Main Representative from the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) to the United Nations; an organization comprised of 250 community-based Sections and 39 national affiliate organizations. The NCNW has an outreach of nearly four million women in the United States and globally. Its programs are human and civil rights, economic development, education, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), advocacy, and public policy and research. In 2003 Ms. Munlin chaired the 56th Annual United Nations Department of Public Information and the Non-governmental Organization’s Annual Conference.
Abdulla Al Shehhi holds a senior strategic role as Chief Operating Officer within Dubai Cares. In his current position, Abdulla oversees the management of projects undertaken by different departments within the organization to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of operations. His responsibilities include supporting the fundraising process and evaluating the performance and impact of implemented programs to achieve the desired outcomes.
Beyond this, Abdulla also directs the Communications department across Dubai Cares, as well as the Community Engagement function. This responsibility involves supervising the implementation of community engagement initiatives locally and globally. As a seasoned member of Dubai Cares, Abdulla supports the development of talent using his expertise in coaching and mentoring teams as well.
Abdulla stepped into his current role following 3 years as Director of Business Support for Dubai Cares, during which he directed and managed the business support functions, including administrative, IT, procurement and donations boxes. In addition, his responsibilities included developing the annual budget of the Operations department, and managing processes to ensure timely budget reporting.
Prior to joining Dubai Cares, Abdulla contributes more than 15 years of key managerial and project management expertise across various UAE-based corporates, such as Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) and Dubai Properties Group.
He also brings valuable experience participating in global and regional conferences, such as the United Nations General Assembly in New York, and the International Volunteer Co-operation Organization Conference in Singapore. Abdulla holds a Higher Diploma in Applied Electronics and Computers System from Higher Colleges of Technology.
An environmental lawyer by training, Andrea has been working for UNEP’s Strategic Planning team since November 2018. His responsibilities include developing UNEP’s Medium Term Strategy for the period 2022-2025 and Programme of Work, as well as engaging with Member States and UNEP’s non-government constituents in various strategic and corporate workstreams.
Prior to joining UNEP Andrea worked for the European Commission’s Directorate General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA) on international negotiations and subsequently for the Secretariat of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) as an external advisor on climate change policy.
Andrea holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
Katelyn is a recent graduate of Mater Dei Prep High School in Middletown, New Jersey. Her college plans include attending Marist College of Poughkeepsie, New York in the fall, with a double major in international business and environmental studies. She has a strong background in conflict resolution and transformation as well as in mediation and negotiation. Her training has been through Mr. George Anthony (Pathways to peace). Additionally, she has a diplomatic training background in conflict resolution as well as Weapons against poverty, through Columbia Law School. Her efforts have mainly been focused on the improvement of education in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. She is pursuing her career in the field of international business and Environmental Studies working towards attending law school after college. Aside from her work with the United Nations, Katelyn is highly involved with the environment and its sustainability while also aiming to resolve global issues and create peaceful encounters and dialogues.
Nishat Mirza, a New Yorker originally from Bangladesh, currently working as a Spokesperson for Columbia University School of Public Health’s COVID19 research. She is a News Correspondent for Turkish Journal, located at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
She graduated from Boston University School of Medicine, with a Masters in Medical Sciences. After graduation, she started working in Clinical Epidemiology at Harvard Medical School, recently completing a two-year project to find the risk factors of a skin infection outbreak. Throughout these endeavors, Nishat grew increasingly concerned about the impacts of climate change on the spread of diseases. Dedicated to public service and making a difference in people’s lives, Nishat has a decade of experience working with people from various ethnic backgrounds as an educator, leader and entrepreneur.
Dania Itani Mousa, 24, is a registered nurse and DNP-FNP candidate. She is Sigma Nursing’s UN Youth Representative, where she advocates for a strong nursing presence globally, presents at global events, and conducts outreach to nurses around the world. Dania is also the Executive Director of a youth-led nonprofit organization that helps the world’s most vulnerable communities.
Venerable Youwang is the Executive Director of Fo Guang Shan temple in New York and is the director of UN affairs of the Buddha’s Light International Association, an international nongovernmental organization of monastics and laypeople headquartered in Los Angeles, California. She was ordained in 2008 at Hsi Lai Temple in California. Her professional experience is in teaching Chinese as a second language and in early childhood education. She served as the executive director of Buddha’s Light Hsi Lai School in California and was the director of general affairs of Fo Guang Shang Xiang Yun Temple in Austin, Texas.
Patrick Sciarratta was the founder and director of the Youth Assembly at the United Nations (2002-2015). He is an elected board member to the Global NGO Executive Committee, related to the United Nations Department of Global Communications (UNDGC). For over two decades, he has acted as Editor of the NGO Reporter, a quarterly disseminated to thousands of UNDGC affiliates worldwide. He is also Editor of Global Connections magazine, an extension of United Nations Association Westchester; Patrick is also an elected board member at UNA Westchester. Patrick acts as Project Director for World Development Foundation programing at United Nations Headquarters; and is founder of the Vinculum Foundation in New York.
Juan Pablo Celis Garcia is a youth policy and climate advocate. He is currently Spokesperson of Education USA, a program of the United States Department of State. Juan is an Adviser to the Youth Representatives Steering Committee of the United Nations Department of Global Communication, Civil Society Unit, where he was a founding member in 2016. He is a former Communications Associate for the United Nations Association of New York (UNA-NY). Juan served as Co-Chair of the Youth Subcommittee for the 66th United Nations DPI/NGO Conference on Education for Global Citizenship in South Korea. In 2019, he co-led the drafting of the first ever Youth Climate Compact at the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference. Mr. Celis presented the Compact at the UN Youth Climate Summit in 2019. He is also a former Adviser to the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations at the third committee of the General Assembly on youth-related matters. Mr. Celis holds a B.A. in International Studies - Public Policy, Summa Cum Laude, and a Master of international Affairs.
Aishwarya Narasimhadevara is the youth representative to the Medical Women’s International Association, an NGO dedicated to the empowerment in the field of medicine. S She is an individual wishing to make a difference in society like others. She is also involved in youth advocacy related projects and interested in the importance of Education in the field of International Development. She has been involved with various non-government organisations working in the field of education, the environment, and culture. She has a Master’s in International Development from the University of Kent-Brussels School of International Studies in Brussels, Belgium. She is also currently reading for a Ph.D. in International Development at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. Travelling is a passion of hers and she enjoys seeing new places. She also enjoys learning, taking photos, and practising karate.
Cairo Eubanks is the Youth Representative for the UN DPI New Future Foundation International (NFFI). In addition to being the UN Youth Representative for NFFI, she represents them as a 2020-2021 UN DGC Youth Steering Committee Member. She is also the Global Correspondent for Global Oved Dei Seminary and University (GODSU), an interfaith e-learning institution. Her portfolio has taken her to Jamaica, Brazil, Morocco, Senegal, and Azerbaijan.
Ms. Eubanks is the CEO of CairoSpeaks/CairoWrites, LLC., a consulting firm which specializes in executive coaching and enhancing both interpersonal communication skills and executive writing. CairoSpeaks offers speech coaching sessions, as well as leadership development programs for emerging and established leaders. CairoWrites offers ghostwriting to busy international leaders and business executives.
Olumide IDOWU is an energetic, and strategic leader who balances a practical view of competing for development interests with a passion for environmental protection and conservation. His knowledge of environmental issues is broad and multi-faceted. He is the co-founder of the International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI Africa), Youth Focal Point Nigeria UNDP Small Grant Program, Youth Lead Author Global Environmental Outlook (GEO6) & Communication Director for African Youth Initiative on Climate Change.
Margo LaZaro, President and Chair of the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY. She is Co-Founder & CSO of the SDG IMargo Lazaro Biompact Awards Community. Margo is a Coordinating Partner of the UN2020. She is the Director of UN Relations for Global Family, and Chair of the Board of Advisors for Youth for a Better World/Montessori Model UN, Youth Impact! Forum and she represents the Huairou Commission at the UN. She a proud to be a Board member of Soroptimist International Metro New York Chapter and a Climate Reality Project Leader. She is a Designer/Artist & Activist who has been dedicated to impactful causes including the SDGs with over thirty years of experience at the United Nations and globally. She has worked within the UN Community as a Chief Developer of meetings, conferences and Special Events. She collaborates with all stakeholders in developing inclusive and impactful programs and projects that include the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She is the Convener of the NGO Major Group Urban Thematic Cluster, as well as a member of the Women’s Major Group for the UN High Level Political Forum. Margo has been mainly focused on connecting all areas of the 17 SDGs. She passionately champions SDG 17 on Building Partnerships and she believes in the NGOCSD-NY motto: "Turn Your Passions into Actions for Change.” The NGOCSD-NY has been proud to be a Partner of the UN Secretary General’s UN75 Anniversary Dialogues and the UN Friends of World Ocean Day/Week initiative. Margo brings entrepreneurs of all ages and the private sector into United Nations discourse to foster support for the success of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, so we “Leave No One Behind.”
Jadayah Spencer is the Executive Director of the International Youth Leadership Institute (IYLI). She is an advocate for improving access to opportunities that enhance the lives of youth, people of African descent, and indigenous people worldwide.
A proud IYLI alumna, Jadayah became an IYLI fellow in 2010 and traveled on the 2011 Summer Fellowship Program to Tanzania. She subsequently served in various roles: as a volunteer, a board member, and a group leader (Brazil 2013, Senegal 2018, Senegal 2019).
She has served on several international and local boards, including her work as a Co-Chair of the UN DGC/CSO Youth Representative Steering Committee, and on the New York City Young Women’s Advisory Council which addresses policy issues that directly affect young women of color in New York City, and which has received $20 million in funding to implement policy recommendations.
Nahleen Ahmed is a development professional whose career includes working for four UN agencies, including UN DESA, UNDP, UNFPA and IFAD. For much of her career, she has worked to facilitate collaborative partnerships with Member States and key stakeholders at UN Headquarters and the field, including with civil society, and helped to implement multi-agency, multi-donor initiatives at the national, regional and global levels through inter-agency task forces.
Through the establishment of Local Consultative Groups at the country level, she actively promoted the participation of civil society with multilateral and bilateral agencies and government counterparts to promote collaborative decision-making and programme implementation. Combined with her prior experience as a Manager at KPMG in Washington, DC, she balanced private sector experience with development work to create and promote collaborative public-private partnerships at the UN.
In the last 12 years at the NGO Branch, Nahleen has supported intergovernmental processes that facilitate the consultative arrangement of civil society with ECOSOC to promote their participation in the work of the UN. She represents the NGO Branch in high-level global conferences, meetings and consultations, promoting the voices of civil society on priority issues, developing communications, outreach and advocacy strategies to reach the wider NGO community to inform and involve them in relevant initiatives and events. At the NGO Branch, DESA, she maintains a close working relationship with Member States, UN Offices and specialized agencies, including in other duty stations, and NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC on substantive programmes, events and high-level conferences.
Ms. Hawa Diallo, Chief of the Civil Society Unit at the Civil Society and Advocacy Section, UN Department of Global Communications has extensive United Nations experience in public information outreach and fostering civil society partnerships, with a particular emphasis on youth and women’s organizations. Ms. Diallo began her United Nations career in 1987 in the Department of Public Information and has served in two United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Cambodia and Somalia, respectively. She has also worked for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) in Nairobi, as an Associate Human Settlements Officer and as a Partners and Youth Officer.